Concussion Prevention Policy: Rowan’s Law

Concussion Prevention Policy: Rowan’s Law


Onward 2019: Protecting Youth in Sports from Serious Injury

Paradise, NL – April 25, 2019: Today, Premier Dwight Ball revealed part of the 2019 Liberal Platform: a commitment to establish legislation in keeping with “Rowan’s Law” to govern the handling of concussions in sport. The goal is to protect amateur athletes by providing safer sports environments for all youth.

Youth participation in sport creates friendships, leadership skills, better health, and many happy memories, but those benefits only come if our young athletes are safe at all times,

said Premier Ball.

By partnering with sport organizations to bring forward this new legislation, we will create safer sports competitions, reduce concussions, and protect the young competitors for whom we all cheer.

The Origin of Rowan’s Law

Rowan’s Law was first introduced in Ontario in March, 2018, after Rowan Stringer, a 17-year old varsity rugby player died from sustaining multiple concussions resulting in catastrophic swelling of the brain – referred to as “second impact syndrome.” A public inquest following her death resulted in a number of recommendations, including the recommendation to establish a law to govern all youth in sport.

Rowan’s Law, as passed in Ontario, has the following mandatory requirements:

  • Removal-from-sport and return-to-sport protocols to ensure that an athlete is immediately removed from the sport if they are suspected of having sustained a concussion;
  • A concussion code of conduct that sets out rules of behavior to minimize concussions while playing sport; and
  • An annual review of concussion awareness resources that coaches and educators would be required to review before registering in a sport.

Hockey NL

Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes that our youth are the future of our province,

said Jack Lee, President of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador.

That is why we have placed special focus on protecting the health of those players in recent years, including working on concussion protocols with medical experts. We see this proposed legislation as a potential game changer for provincial hockey, and all provincial sports, and we endorse this initiative.

Dr. Jared Butler

Engaging the sport sector on this initiative will be vital, as the best legislation will be created with the input of experienced and knowledgeable stakeholders who understand the damaging impacts of concussions, and how to prevent them.

Concussion in children is a debilitating medical condition that I see too often in my sports medicine and concussion medical practice. We have an obligation to protect all children participating in sport by improving education, awareness, diagnosis, and management of this disease across the province,

said Dr. Jared Butler.

As a Sports Medicine and Family Physician and Medical Director of Hockey NL, I would like to commend the provincial government for committing to introduce this new legislation that supports safe and fun sport for all for life. Education requirements for coaches and educators, and new protocols for removal-from-sport and return-to-sport, will help protect our young athletes by limiting the risk for Post-Concussion Syndrome and Second Impact Syndrome. I look forward to working with the government in the development of this new legislation and regulations.

Ensuring the Safety of our Children

Rowan’s Law is an important step forward to ensure the safety of our children. Through awareness, education, and better legislation, your Liberal Government will bring in necessary protection to provide the safer sport system that young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians deserve.


Media Contacts:

Jason Card
Campaign Communications Lead
Liberal Party of Newfoundland & Labrador
(709) 690-0470

Jack Lee
Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador
(709) 743-0707

Dr. Jared Jaye Butler CCFP-SEM
Chair Shalloway Primary Care Network
Medical Director Hockey NL
Department of Family Medicine, MUN
(709) 486-0432